Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan has told a woman who was allegedly raped, not to try and find “popularity in such a thing of infamy and shame”.
Mr Khan made the comment during an event on Thursday in Kanpur where the woman had come to urge the urban development minister to hasten police investigation.
At the event, when the woman, allegedly raped in a moving car four months ago tried to raise the matter, Azam Khan snapped back saying: “Agar aap badnami ko itni shohrat dengi, toh zamane ko apni shakl kaise dikhayengi? (If you rake up such a shameful matter, how will you have a face to live in the society?).”
As the woman carried on saying that the culprits were roaming free and she was receiving death threats, the minister said he did not actually know what the matter was.
Azam Khan went on to say he would take the memorandum from the “behan jo halla kar rahi hain” (the sister who is creating such a ruccus), and added that she had, however, “got her two minutes of fame by raking up the issue.”
The crowd began whistling and clapping at the minister’s statement, forcing the woman to beat a hasty retreat.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lashed out at the minister for his remarks and demanded that Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav “either by his silence endorse his minister’s statements or sack him”.
“Azam Khan throughout his political career has hit headlines for all the wrong reasons. It is high time that the Samajwadi Party leadership take a call on him and clamp down on his irresponsible statements,” BJP’s state spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.